Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis The Season

 With the Holiday Season upon us, we're taking a day to look back at the season through historic photographs of Southern California, Los Angeles and our own hometown of Covina. We may not be dreaming of a White Christmas, indeed that's why many of us live here, but It's always fun to reminisce about simpler times and admire the decor and the customs of days gone by.

So come along as we look back at the Holidays in Southern California:

LA Mayor Fletcher Bowron and his wide ride in a new Buick Roadmaster in the 1949 Hollywood Christmas Parade

Hollywood Boulevard, 1950

A Christmas Seals Billboard at Hollywood and Vine, 1950
Holiday Issue of Buick Magazine, 1936

A 1936 Buick decked for the season

Mayor and Mrs. Bowron pass the Frolic Room in the 1949 Hollywood Christmas Parade

Another view of the 1949 Hollywood Christmas Parade

1958 Buick Dealer Greeting Card

1959 Buick wagon in a blanket of white
Snow in Downtown Covina, 1940s

Covina in Holiday Decor, 1962

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

1941 Buicks with the Brunn Touch

"Best Buick Yet" was the tagline for Buick in 1941, and it was more than a slogan. The 1941 models were a high point for Buick in many ways, including their presence in the ultra luxury market. Not only did Buick continue the 90 series Limited Series in 1941, but they partnered with Brunn Coachbuilders to offer an impressive catalog of factory customs available through your local Buick dealer. 

It was surprising that it even happened at all, considering Cadillac's near monopoly of the luxury market, but Buick had a fine car in the Limited and an aggressive General Manager in Harlow Curtice, so the partnership moved forward. Brunn prepared four renderings for a very special Limited-only brochure. 

The models depicted were the Custom Landau, with folding rear roof section, the Custom Brougham, a formal open front Town Car, the Custom Phaeton, which was a four door convertible, and the Custom Town Car which had a different roof treatment that the Custom Brougham. 

The brochure showed renderings of all four models plus three pages dedicated to all of the special fittings that could be done by Brunn. It was in every way a most impressive piece. Too impressive, perhaps, because soon the stuffed shirts at Cadillac were complaining bitterly to GM leadership about the ambitious Buick-Brunn program, and it was quietly shelved. And so a fascinating chapter in Buick history was closed. 

But not so fast. Brunn did manage to complete two of the special Limiteds before the program was discontinued- and quite special cars they were. The Mc Cormick family of Chicago ordered a Custom Landau in a deep grey which was used at their summer home in Lake Geneva, WI for many years, until it disappeared in the 1960s. Hopefully it will resurface one day.

And the car at the top of the article, a pearl grey and black Custom Brougham, was completed for a Colonel Le Roy Berdeau and delivered to him at his winter residence in Palm Beach, Florida in February of 1941. Colonel Berdeau's car spent summers in Chicago and winters in Florida and fortunately made its way into collector hands where it was restored in the early 1990s. For many years owned by Detroit Buick dealer Marv Tamaroff, it was photographed at the 1993 Eyes on the Classics and is shown at the bottom of the article. Although the color was changed to a deep green, the restoration is of high quality and pays tribute to a moment where a fine custom car was only a visit to your local Buick dealer away. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Memories- Automotive Anomalies

We're in a light-hearted mood today so rather than beat anyone up with serious research, let's just have a look at some of the Automotive Anomalies of the last century. You'll see some seriously tiny cars some little cars that think they're big trucks, some cars that dreamed of being boats and planes, and one car from the sixties that learned to swim.

There are also cars that seemed to attempt to reduce our endless thirst for tires, first by weaning back to three wheels, then one enormous wheel, and finally a big cycle tire. That one might prove problematic for fitting the child safety seats. 

After all, automotive progress isn't everything, and sometimes good ideas surface only in the smoldering wreckage of ghastly ones. So relax and enjoy some Automotive Abnormalities:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Covina Field of Valor

The Covina Rotary Club has created a very special tribute for Veterans this year in the week building up to Veterans Day. The display, called the Field of Valor consists of 2,001 American Flags serving as a tribute to all those who served as well as those in Active Duty at the present time.

The display itself is located on the grounds of Sierra Vista Middle School, 777 Puente Avenue in Covina. The flags will be on display through Sunday, November 11th. In addition to the field of American Flags, there will be special events each day throughout the week. All funds raised from sponsorships and donations will benefit the Ontario USO, which provided services to Military Families.

This Saturday will be Military Resources Day. The field will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM with day long entertainment beginning at 9. There will be service booths for Active Military and Veterans. Sunday will be a very special Veterans Day with a Ceremony beginning at 10 AM that will include Keynote Speaker John Mc Dannel and a USAF Flyover. It will be a very special day of recognizing our Military forces and the sacrifices they make on our behalf every day.

Get more information at their Website, Covina Field of Valor. The event is being hosted by the Covina Rotary. Check it out and Happy Veterans Day to all the devoted menbers of our Military past and present.